Sunday, August 27, 2017

Rotini With Pesto Sauce (Jain)

Making Jain pasta with pesto sauce is surprisingly very easy while maintaining flavor. Obviously, we will make this without garlic, onion and spinach in the pesto sauce. Instead, I use basil, mint leaves and parsley. I use rotini pasta, but you may use any pasta of your choice (i.e. penne). You may also add your choice of vegetables in the pasta. Here, I use broccoli, french beans and green bell peppers. I usually don't have pasta, but I truly enjoy this variation. Try this recipe for lunch of dinner - it's a personal favorite!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 10 ounces uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1-1/2 cups broccoli (cut into small florates)
  • 1 cup french beans (cut approx. 1-1/2" long)
  • 1 cup green capsicum (cut approx. 1-1/2" long)
  • 6 to 7 basil leaves for garnishing
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
For The Pesto:
  • 1-1/2  cups fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts or walnuts
  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano reggiano cheese, grated (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add salt. Add pasta and cook according to the packaged directions. Drain, but save some water from the pasta (1 to 2 cups) and return the pasta to the pot.
  2.  Prepare the pesto by adding basil, mint leaves, parsley, pine nuts, cheese, black pepper and salt in a food processor. Pulse until all the ingredients are finely chopped. 
  3. With the machine still running, drizzle in 1/4 cup of the olive oil and process until the mixture is a smooth puree. If you feel the mixture is too thick to equally coat the pasta, then add a little more olive oil.
  4. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil on a frying pan over medium heat. Add the broccoli, green pepper and french beans. Stir fry and add the pasta. Season with black pepper and salt. 
  5. Add the pesto and toss until it is uniformly combined/ mixed. If you think it is dry, then add some of the saved pasta water (1/2 cup to 1 cup)
  6. Garnish with basil leaves and top with additional grated cheese (optional).
  7. Serve hot with with a side such as cheese bread or garlic bread. ( garlic bread optional)

Friday, August 18, 2017

Plain Upma

Upma is a quick and common breakfast item originating in the southern part of India. It's preparation involves fusing together a few common ingredients. You may also make it healthier by adding vegetables such as green peas, onions, tomato, corn and/or carrots. However, I like plain upma very much so here I am sharing a plain umma recipe, which I learned from one of my aunt. I like to make upma in ghee, but that is a personal preference. You may use oil.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup rava/ semolina/ sooji
  • 2 tablespoons oil /ghee
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1-1/2 tablespoon split urad dal
  • 5 to 6 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 to 3 green chilies, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 4 cups of hot water
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat pan on medium high heat and add oil/ ghee. Then, add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add urad dal, chopped curry leaves and green chilies. Sauté for a few seconds.
  2. Add the rava and sauté for a few minutes until the color of the rava changes. Add 4 cups of hot water and salt. Mix well and cover with a lid. 
  3. Cook on a slow flame for a few minutes while occasionally stirring.
  4. Add lemon juice, mix well and cook while stirring continuously for one minute. 
  5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve immediately.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Paneer-Stuffed Green Moong Dal Dosa (Pesarattu Dosa)

This Dosa is made with green split moong dal instead of your traditional batter. It is a delicious multi-nutrient breakfast or lunch option that will provide you energy for the whole day. The paneer stuffing will give you protein, which ensures that you will start the day right (and happy!). While it sounds difficult, the dosa is very easy to make. The best thing about this batter is that you don't need to ferment the dal batter.

Soaking Time: 2 hours
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

  • 1 cup split green moon dal
  • 4 green chillies for batter
  • 1 inch ginger
  • 1/2 cup fresh green coriander leaves, chopped
  • 3 to 4 green chilis (adjust spice level according to your taste), chopped
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 1 cup tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 cup green capsicum, chopped
  • 1 cup crumbled paneer or very finely cubed paneer
  • 1/2 teaspoon chaat masala
  • Oil/ ghee for dosa (approx. 1/4 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  1. First, soak the dal in water for at least two hours.
  2. Drain the water and combine the dal with green chilis and ginger. In a blender, add the mixture and a little water. Blend it until it has a smooth paste-like consistency.
  3. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add salt. Mix it well and keep aside.
  4. Sauté the paneer in a pan with one teaspoon oil/ghee until it is light brown and keep aside.
  5. In a pan, add 2 tablespoons oil/ghee with the gas on medium heat. Add chopped onion and sauté until lightly brown. Then, add the chopped green chili, green capsicum and tomatoes (on high heat so water doesn't release). Sauté for one minute and then add paneer, salt, chaat masala and chopped coriander leaves. Quickly mix it and turn off the stove. Keep the mixture aside.
  6. Heat a pan or tawa and lightly grease it. Pour one ladleful of batter onto the tawa and spread it around with the back of the ladle. Sprinkle the paneer mixture onto the dosa. Drizzle oil/ghee around the dosa. Cook until the dosa underside turns golden brown. fold the dosa and serve hot with Coconut Chutney or Green Coriander Chutney.
  7. Repeat with the remaining batter to make more dosas.
  8. Serve immediately.

Photos of green moong dal batter, cubed paneer, sautéed paneer,sautéed onion, next is added green capsicum and tomatoes, ready paneer mixtures.